The horrible truth: When you’re nervous and focused on not dropping a stick, it’s more likely to happen. Your playing and performance suffer with nerves, too. When these things suffer, you notice, did other people notice?, and you get even more nervous. It’s a vicious cycle.
Some things you can do to avoid dropping sticks:
- Use grip tape. Pretty cheap, easy to obtain. I’ve used Pro-Mark’s Stick Rapp. It’s cushy, not slippery. (Check out last week’s blog for wrapping tips.)
- Wear drumming gloves. They’re tight-fitting and made of various grippy materials, usually leather.
- Avoid sticks with slippery finish or paint on them if you know you’re going to sweat. I absolutely love Adrian Young, but his new sticks get very slippery.
Most importantly, you just need to relax. This should be every drummer’s personal mantra. Drumming is something that’s supposed to be loose and open, not tight and tense.
Everyone experiences the pre-performance jitters. Find something you can do to relax yourself before or during the performance. I have a ridiculously long stretch session before I perform. Sure, I probably don’t need to stretch for as long as I do, but it makes me feel more confident and definitely calms me down. I know people that run basic exercises before shows, or people that listen to hardcore metal to (somehow?) relax. Find something that works for you.
Next week’s (big 2-part) topic: Tuning
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